While Colorado Springs City Council on Wednesday enacted a six-month moratorium on oil and gas exploration within city limits, Ultra Resources has submitted temporary use permit applications with El Paso County.
Ultra is seeking county approval for three well sites in eastern El Paso County. The company also is getting state approval for the drilling.
The applications are being worked through the county’s permitting system, said Craig Dossey, a county project manager and planner.
Dossey said he does not have a timeline for finalizing the permits. Local temporary use permits usually take 60 to 90 days to process.
It has been estimated that Ultra could receive clearance to begin drilling late this month or early in January.
El Paso County commissioners enacted a four-month temporary suspension on the application process on Sept. 29, to give county officials time to draft land use regulations for the industry, but three weeks later made an exception for Ultra Resources, a Texas-based energy developer with an office in Englewood.
Ultra representatives told commissioners they thought they were in the application process at the time commissioners imposed the moratorium because Ultra had spoken to county staff prior to that.
Ultra wants to test drill for oil and gas on three well sites on Colorado State Land Board property in El Paso County. Ultra paid $1.67 million in July and August to Denver-based Pine Ridge Oil & Gas LLC for mineral leases on nearly 100,000 acres of land in eastern El Paso County and an exploratory well east of Fountain.